Is Water Free at Starbucks? (A Quick Explanation)

Starbucks free water?

Starbucks is revered for the thousands of drink combinations, the cozy atmosphere, and the free wifi at its stores.

But what happens when you want just water at a Starbucks store?

Is water free at Starbucks?

Yes, Starbucks provides free iced water in a cup on request. Most Starbucks stores offer the water in a grande or smaller cup but you can still request a venti or Trenta cup of free water. Licensed stores usually charge a less than a dollar cup fee for free water.

Although Starbucks owns its own line of bottled water, it has a free water policy that allows you to order free water that is not bottled at no charge even when you are not buying anything at the store. This means that you can walk up to a Starbucks store, get a cup of free water and be on your way without paying anything.

Starbucks company-operated or corporate stores will not charge you for the cup but some licensed stores may charge about $0.25 to $0.50 for the cup to meet their inventory costs.

Starbucks stores will refill your own water bottle free of charge to promote environmental friendliness.

A few Starbucks stores used to have self-service water coolers and spigots but most of them have since been removed as Starbucks does not consider itself a self-service store.

How to Order Free Water at Starbucks Without Irritating the Baristas

Without question, the baristas at your favorite store usually do an amazing job of crafting huge amounts and combinations of drinks. And guess what? They actually enjoy pouring you a free cup of water when you order it the right way.

Here are some quick tips to get your free water order from Starbucks.

  • Join the queue and wait for your chance to order. Have you ever been happily queueing at Starbucks only for someone to randomly jump the line for a cup of water? You were not amused, right?
  • Order at the register/counter or drive-thru order box. Although the water is free, the barista has to ring it into the register to account for the labor, inventory and time it takes to serve you the water. Those few seconds can add up to a significant amount of time for tens of free water orders.
  • Decide whether you want it iced or without ice. The standard is iced water, so you may want to clarify that you do not want ice when ordering.
  • Ask for the water when making your regular order. Avoid asking for water when you are at the hand-off bar as this interferes with the work flow and results to everyone getting their drink late.
  • For a group of people such as school kids or joggers, have one person order for everyone at a go rather than queueing to order one by one. You save the baristas and yourselves precious time.
  • Specify the size of cup for your water. See the different Starbucks cup sizes.
  • Don’t forget to tip when you can. That small tip, even for free items, is a wonderful way of appreciating the baristas and adds up over time so go ahead and tip them from time to time. It’s also a great way to build a relationship with the baristas.

Most customers ask for free water at the hand-off area because they fear that when it is rung in the register, they have to pay which is not the case.

Why is Starbucks Water so Good

All the water that Starbucks uses for cold and hot drinks is triple filtered so it’s totally free from particles and impurities such as chlorine and chloramines, and organic and inorganic compounds.

Triple filtration eliminates 99.99% of contaminants and enhances the taste of water and that’s why Starbucks water tastes so good.

How to Order Water on the Starbucks App

Unfortunately, in most regions, you can not order free water on the Starbucks app. You have to order in the store or at the drive-thru order box.

However, some customers have devised a creative way of ordering water on the Starbucks app where they change their name to include free water. For example, if a customer’s name is James, they change it to “James Venti Iced Water” so that the baristas know that the order includes water in a Venti cup.

The baristas are able to interpret that the customer wants free water with their other order but if the store is busy, they may not have time to read through everything in your name.

What is Venti Water at Starbucks?

Starbucks Venti water is simply fresh water in a Venti cup. It is not flavored.

How Much is Strawberry Water at Starbucks?

Starbucks strawberry water was popularized through Tik Tok as a cheap way of getting water with strawberries. Although some people wrongly believe that the drink is charged $0.60, it actually costs around $4 as Strawberry water is billed as a custom tea instead of free water with strawberry inclusions.


Patrick is first a coffee lover and then a trained barista. His bucket list includes sky diving and sipping on Java in the Himalayas.

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